Portland to host ‘Black Hawk Down’ survivor featured speaker

Improving safety culture and performance is the focus of the Northwest Safety and Health Summit Conference, scheduled for May 12-14, 2015, at the Red Lion Hotel on the River – Jantzen Beach in Portland.

The Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association (VPPPA) is hosting the regional conference and is dedicated to cooperative occupational safety, health, and environmental management systems through partnerships with employees, management, and government. The VPPPA is a member-based association, providing a network of more than 1,900 companies and worksites that are involved in or are in the process of applying to the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or the Department of Energy.

Conference keynote speaker Keni Thomas and his fellow U.S. Army rangers distinguished themselves in 1993 in an 18-hour firefight in Mogadishu, Somalia, that would later be recounted in the highly successful book and movie Black Hawk Down. Thomas will share the story of how he, and other extraordinary individuals, fought to bring each other home. He will stress the importance of outstanding leadership at every level, even if the only person you are leading is yourself.

“All of us want to make a difference,” Thomas said. “We all want to know at the end of the day that we counted for something. My presentation will focus on how well you prepare yourself
in advance to rise above and do what others can not do for you. The story I get to tell is a story of extraordinary people, just like you, who did just that.”

Other topics featured at the conference include:

* VPP basics – fundamentals, application process
* Management leadership, safety culture
* Influencing behavior and dynamic learning

Registration for the event is $300, with price breaks for VPP membership and one-day attendance. For more information about the conference or to register, visit


Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state’s workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, visit www.orosha.org or follow us on www.facebook.com/OregonOSHA.